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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Where are the Cardinals’ Winning Streaks?

“Winning is contagious,” as the old line goes.

So it is for the current edition of the Memphis Redbirds, winners of nine consecutive games. That matches the team-record winning streak established by the 2000 Pacific Coast League Champion Redbirds. It also ties the longest such stretch in the Triple-A circuit this season.

Compare that to the parent St. Louis Cardinals. “Never too low, but never too high” might be the most applicable catch phrase for manager Mike Matheny’s third club.

Forget about nine wins, or even six. The 2014 Cardinals have logged just one winning streak of five games, and it was over two months ago. For that matter, June 17 also marked the end of the team’s most recent four-game winning streak.

The latest attempt by St. Louis to take a fourth consecutive “W” fell by the wayside due to the Kevin SiegristJedd Gyorko grand slam on Saturday. It was the team’s fifth failed attempt to string together four victories since June 17.

Just as nine is the longest streak in the PCL, so it is in the National League in 2014. Milwaukee did it as part of its fast start in April, followed by Atlanta at the end of June into the start of July.

On the “not too low” side of the coin, this year’s Cardinals have dropped as many as four consecutive games just once. It was in the third through sixth games after the All-Star break, with the first three at home. Number one was against the Dodgers, the next two versus Tampa and the last at Wrigley Field on July 25.

I am not sure what it is about post-break play, but at that same time last season, the Cardinals began their season-worst seven-game skid.

Yet, when it mattered, the 2013 Cards came through, with September winning streaks of five and six games on their way to a sizzling 19-8 final month, 97 wins and the Central Division title. That +11 win month is a bigger cushion than the 2014 Cardinals have accrued through their first 4 1/2 months combined.

All is far from lost this year. The team remains well-positioned in the Wild Card race, but the best way to catch the Brewers is to alter their season-long trajectory – by winning more just a few more than they lose.

The Cardinals’ record by month this season has remained on a very even keel. A summary is as follows:

April +1 games
May +3
June +1
July +2
August to date +3

10 games over .500 is an ok enough place to be, but is still tenuous. At the end of the schedule, an 86-76 record may or may not be enough to move into post-season play.

The best way to truly create some space is to find that Memphis Redbirds formula and crack off a long winning streak. We will see if the 2014 Cardinals have it in them.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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20 Responses to “Where are the Cardinals’ Winning Streaks?”

  1. blingboy says:

    I wonder how hurt Ellis really is.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    The Reds are slumping away. With the game on the line last night, they had to use Hoover, who became 1-10.
    The Pirates have fallen back. Its a two team race.
    The Cards are eking out some wins. Wins are wins, however obtained.

  3. blingboy says:

    Any idea why Gast didn’t make his scheduled start for Memphis?

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    Despite leading 7 to zip going into the 9th, Matheny still found a way to avoid resting Rosenthal. The better way would have been to bring Greenwood in to start the 9th. Greenwood also pitched 2 nights ago and set them down with just 5 pitches. Greenwood is not trying to throw 100, so will just toss strikes. Using Greenwood would have spared the power relievers, Martinez and Rosenthal, from the Matheny Follies.

  5. blingboy says:

    I see where Albert is leading the American League is GIDPs. He has not entered the decline phase after all. 🙂

    The Angels lost one of their top two starters. (Not Weaver, can’t remember the name) It will be rather difficult for them to do much about it at this point. I guess we were ‘lucky’ in that respect, losing our guys before the non-waiver trade deadline. Maybe we can figure a way to get Cory Rasmus for a fringe starter we aren’t likely to use much.

    As long as I’m thinking about the Angels, I wonder what will become of David Freese. He will be due an arb raise from $5M. They will be shelling out almost $50M just for Albert and Josh Hamilton. How many ‘not worth the money’ guys can one team have?

  6. Bw52 says:

    Albert still has 23 HRs 74 RBIs and hitting .275.His HR and RBI totals would be leading the Cards by a mil;e and he has several Game winnings hits lately.Probably not worth 25 million but way out producing the Cards 16 million man.

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